Everybody’s YARDworking for the Weekend

The weather is warm and we’re full of energy! Here’s a quick rundown of what we got done around the yard yesterday.

We busted up some remnants of an old fence…

Old Fence Woodpile

We dug out this drain that was covered in grass and dirt, then replaced with river rocks…

River Rock Drain

We tore up a dead bush…

Empty Corner

…and replaced it with some rhododendron…

Rhododendron

…and lava rocks and a hook for a hanging plant…in the future.

New Corner Garden

We planted some flowers (pansies and snapdragons) in another of our garden spaces…

NewGarden

We mulched the crap out of everything…

corner tree

We’ve had a fence door that has been giving us trouble since we moved in. It turns out ants were destroying the support piece of wood holding all of the slats together. We quickly destroyed them (not pictured) and replaced the wood. (also not pictured)

fence door on ground

That one bottom slat was broken pretty good and was only being held on by the ants’ rotten wood. First though, we replaced all of the nails and capped them with a little wood glue.

New Nails

This didn’t look great, so once the glue was dried we headed out to find a paint that would match for touch ups. With a little help from our friend in the paint department at Lowes we were able to color match pretty close. In this photo it hasn’t dried yet, but you get the idea.

Repaired Fence with Touch Up

Repaired Fence with Wood Putty

Even with the new wood in place this hinge was pretty busted up.

Busted Fence Hinge

After a little reshaping of the hinge and the addition of some new locking washers, its as good as new.

Fixed Hinge

In our humble opinions, the door now works better than ever before. No more getting stuck trying to get into or out of the backyard…

Fixed Fence

And now we’ll leave you with these random flowers that have sprouted up in the yard…

Yard Flowers

Bush Flowers

Grills Gone Wild

Happy 4th of July WEEK. Yes – a week-long celebration of the good old USA and a reason to eat hot dogs and cheeseburgers every single day! Well, not really, but it’s definitely an excuse to take advantage of a good holiday sale!

Andrew’s friend from work passed a nice Weber Charcoal Grill down to us and we made several attempts at trying to use it. However, we’re quite pathetic and had a very hard time being patient and working to get the thing heated up properly. The first time we actually cooked something on it, we burnt some hamburgers to a crisp (and ate them anyway). The 2nd time we actually got the grill up to the right temperature and attempted to cook something, we had hot dogs that tasted like lighter fluid (didn’t eat them anyway, yuck).

Weber Charcoal GrillThat’s when I got the brilliant idea – get Andrew a grill for his birthday! His birthday isn’t until July 31, but don’t worry, I made sure to ruin the surprise well in advance 😉 I’m just terrible at giving and receiving surprises and this time, there were so many variables, I’m not sure I could have pulled it off.

The grill I had been eyeing online at Lowes was sitting in my shopping cart for a few weeks. I had this grand idea that I would bring it home and have it sitting outside and Andrew would be like, “whoa where did that grill come from?!” However, the grill went on sale this week and the sale only lasts until Sunday! The 8th is far too early to be giving the gift, so trying to get the thing at the right time was out of the question. Secondly, when would I pick the thing up, how would I get it put together, how would I conceal this from Andrew when we share the same Lowes card? Not to mention, I can’t really make this kind of decision on my own, so I decide I need Andrew to be involved.

I ruin the surprise…so we head down to Lowes where they are currently offering 18 months 0% APR financing for total purchases over $300 – score! There were a few other things we needed, so we knew it wouldn’t be a problem to reach the $300 mark. One $139 Grillmaster Grill, 1 Blue Rhino propane tank, 1 LED solar security/motion light, 6 solar path lights, and a few other odds and ends later, we got ourselves a brand new grill and we don’t have to pay for it until next January, hah! Obviously we will have it paid off well before then, but it’s just nice to be able to take your time and make small payments here and there as opposed to dropping $300 all at once (especially while you’re in the middle of some other pricier projects). Anyone new to home ownership, we definitely recommend a Lowes card!

So we have the grill, we have the tank, we bring it all home and set the grill up the next day. With an estimated assembly time of 45 minutes, we’re all done after about 2.5 hours! 8, 496 mosquito bites later, I give you – THE GRILL.

Grillmaster 3-Burner Gas GrillGrillmaster 3-Burner Gas Grill

Sure, it’s not the Rolls Royce of grills, but it’s gas and should be easy to use. It even has a side burner! It’s a practical solution for us and our budget. Now all we have to do is connect the propane tank and we’ll be making tons of burgers and dogs on 580 square inches of grill, all Summer long.

Fresh Fresh Fresh Fresh Fresh Fresh

We’re freshening things up! How do you like our look for Summer 2012?!

GET OUTSIDE this summer! The Wilderness Must Be Explored!

When we’re not at work, working on the house or inside blogging…we’re working and playing outside. We love hiking and even just walking around our neighborhood. We’re hoping our Summer 2012 reFRESHed design will inspire y’all to get outside this season. There’s just nothing like exploring a new park (at least for us), and with all the moving + traveling around New Jersey we’ve done over the years, we’ve explored A LOT of places!

I just checked in with Andrew today (while we were on a hike), to see what his favorite parks of all time were. I told him he couldn’t pick Yellowstone, but other, smaller National Parks would be okay. So he picked Sandy Hook and Wharton State Forest, but great places here in Jersey. I’m more of a “favorite of the moment” kind of person, so I chose Deep Cut Park! It’s in Middletown, NJ, just a few miles from our house. They have beautiful gardens and some great paths to check out. Here are two pics from a few months ago. As you can imagine, things are even greener today!

DIY and home improvement bloggers explore the great outdoorsDIY and home improvement bloggers explore the great outdoorsHere are some of our favorite “outside moments” from the past few years:

DIY and home improvement bloggers explore the great outdoors

Yellowstone National Park

DIY and home improvement bloggers explore the great outdoors

Plymouth, MA

DIY and home improvement bloggers explore the great outdoors

Batsto Village, New Jersey

DIY and home improvement bloggers explore the great outdoors

Smithville, New Jersey (an obvious fave)

Wedding photo courtesy of RHM Photography